Biblical Hebrew vocabulary

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Kirk Lowery
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Biblical Hebrew vocabulary

Postby Kirk Lowery » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:51 am

Is there a file online somewhere that has the complete vocabulary (lemmas) of the Hebrew Bible? And not to be picky, but it would be nice if it was sorted into order of number of occurrences. Asking for a friend. :ugeek:
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Gerald Zimmerman
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Re: Biblical Hebrew vocabulary

Postby Gerald Zimmerman » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:20 pm

You're not the only one who wonders this. There are various kinds of free flash card programs that allow for the import of word lists. Such a vocabulary list would undoubtedly help a lot of students.

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dirkroorda
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Re: Biblical Hebrew vocabulary

Postby dirkroorda » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:54 pm


dirkroorda
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Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:45 pm

Re: Biblical Hebrew vocabulary

Postby dirkroorda » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:57 pm

Given the availability of biblical databases, it has become easier to produce such lists yourself.
See https://github.com/ETCBC/bhsa/blob/mast ... tart.ipynb to get started.

dirkroorda
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Re: Biblical Hebrew vocabulary

Postby dirkroorda » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:37 pm

Well, I just did it. Follow this, and you see a link to a vocab list, with frequencies and glosses. Sorted.
https://github.com/ETCBC/lingo/blob/mas ... ocab.ipynb

kwrandolph
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Re: Biblical Hebrew vocabulary

Postby kwrandolph » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:12 pm

Kirk Lowery wrote:Is there a file online somewhere that has the complete vocabulary (lemmas) of the Hebrew Bible? And not to be picky, but it would be nice if it was sorted into order of number of occurrences. Asking for a friend. :ugeek:


Is this even possible, given our present knowledge of Biblical Hebrew?

For example, an argument can be made that there were two words spelled עלמה—one the feminine of עלם meaning a youth who has not had sexual relations, and the second used only once in Proverbs 30:19 derived from the pattern that sometimes the appended final ה denotes abstraction from a concrete idea, hence in that one use refers to the abstract idea “the unknown” (i.e. the future). And that’s just one example.

Is there somewhere an official list of Hebrew vocabulary? Is it fixed, or changing?

Karl W. Randolph.

dirkroorda
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Re: Biblical Hebrew vocabulary

Postby dirkroorda » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:20 pm

It's only an approximation, the lexicon I use is not carved in stone, it is a by-product of the work of the Eep Talstra Centre for Bible and Computer, when they produced their syntactic database of the text and linguistics of the Hebrew Bible.

I have helped them put several versions of their database online (5 versions from 2011 till 2017), and no two versions of their database have the same number of words, let alone the same lexicon.

This is not meant as a deprecation!

Dirk Roorda

kwrandolph
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Re: Biblical Hebrew vocabulary

Postby kwrandolph » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:53 am

dirkroorda wrote:It's only an approximation, the lexicon I use is not carved in stone, it is a by-product of the work of the Eep Talstra Centre for Bible and Computer, when they produced their syntactic database of the text and linguistics of the Hebrew Bible.

I have helped them put several versions of their database online (5 versions from 2011 till 2017), and no two versions of their database have the same number of words, let alone the same lexicon.

This is not meant as a deprecation!

Dirk Roorda


Dear Dirk:

I can appreciate what you mean that there’s no fixed list of words.

To give you a bit of background of myself, I had one year formal training in Hebrew decades ago, then had no contact with Hebrew scholarship for decades. The only English translation i had used archaic English which I found difficult to understand. So I read Tanakh in Hebrew. The only tools I had were a copy of Davidson’s Analytical Lexicon, an English translation of Gesenius’ lexicon, and Lisowski’s concordance. BDB was still under copyright and selling for an inflation adjusted $200–$250, which I couldn’t afford.

Davidson’s lexicon taught me derivation patterns, because all entries were listed under roots. However, there were many times I had to disagree with the derivations listed, they made no sense.

Even early on I found Gesenius questionable based on how I learn vocabulary in modern languages. I started writing corrections in the margins.

The tool I found most useful was Lisowski’s concordance. The glosses tend to be more accurate than Gesenius, more in line with how the words are actually used in Tanakh. Plus, if I had further questions, I could check the uses myself.

I continued writing corrections in the margins, this time in Lisowski’s concordance, because the margins were wider. Eventually I had notes on almost every word in Tanakh, which I realized was the beginning of a full-fledged dictionary of itself. So I digitized it into a stand-alone dictionary, and with updates, that’s what I use today.

Based on the above, I understand what you mean that the word list keeps changing.

My biggest question for you now is, what is the data base upon which you build your lexicon?

Again a bit of background. I never learned the cantillation points. The more I read, the more I realized that the Masoretic vowel points are not always accurate for meaning. That’s not counting that they don’t convey Biblical era pronunciations. Therefore, I stopped using the vowel points. The only thing I rely on is the consonantal text. The consonantal text is my data base for my dictionary.

What is your data base?

Yours, Karl W. Randolph.

dirkroorda
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Re: Biblical Hebrew vocabulary

Postby dirkroorda » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:41 pm

Dear Karl,
I use a database, made in Amsterdam, over the years. It is online.
https://shebanq.ancient-data.org/hebrew/text
This is the background.
https://github.com/ETCBC/shebanq/wiki/Sources
And I pick several columns of data from this database, e.g. this one
https://etcbc.github.io/bhsa/features/h ... 7/lex.html.

Dirk Roorda

kwrandolph
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Re: Biblical Hebrew vocabulary

Postby kwrandolph » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:29 am

Dear Dirk:

Part of my basic question is: what do you do for places where the Masoretic points are demonstrably mistaken? And where the mistakes can lead to errors in understanding syntax and grammar? Do you correct the mistakes, or leave them as is?

Thank you for the links. From what I could find following those links, it appears that you leave the Masoretic points alone, which at times causes you to have to twist yourself into a mental pretzel in order to justify those mistaken points.

As for me, because I read Tanakh for personal devotions and understanding, I didn’t make a list of where the points are demonstrably mistaken when I stopped using them. I just stopped using them.

Yours, Karl W. Randolph.

Ps: a note on Accordance—when I last checked (a few years ago) they didn’t give the option of reading the text without the Masoretic points. That was a major reason why I went with Xiphos for Mac, Linux and Windows™, And Bible on Android and PocketSword on iOS, all found on http://www.crosswire.org . The difference in cost was also a factor.


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